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Carving Nature at Its JointsNatural Kinds in Metaphysics and Science$
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Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O'Rourke, and Matthew H. Slater

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780262015936

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262015936.001.0001

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Lange and Laws, Kinds, and Counterfactuals

Lange and Laws, Kinds, and Counterfactuals

Chapter:
(p.85) 4 Lange and Laws, Kinds, and Counterfactuals
Source:
Carving Nature at Its Joints
Author(s):

Alexander Bird

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262015936.003.0004

This chapter examines and poses questions to Marc Lange’s account of laws and his claim that the law delineating the range of natural kinds of fundamental particles has a lesser grade of necessity than do laws connecting the fundamental properties of those kinds with their derived properties. The problem many regularity theorists face regarding laws is the fact that many regularities are true, but only some of them correspond to laws. The trick for the regularity theorist is to pick from among the regularities those for which the addition of the nomic operator “it is a law that…” is truth-preserving, while excluding those for which that operator bears a falsehood. Lange’s starting question is very similar to that posed for the regularity theorist, although he himself is not one of them.

Keywords:   account of laws, Marc Lange, natural kinds, fundamental particles, regularity theorists, nomic operator

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